An Unexpected Gift
Memo to Wayne LaPierre: ARE YOU SANTA?
There is a time and a place for hope, but sometimes the universe sends mixed signals. For example, the Christmas season is a time for hope, but this column ain't the place. Still, there may be some small cause for hope thanks to the unexpected gift Wayne LaPierre gave us all on Friday.
To the extent that it's possible for a right-wing organization to be discredited as a result of their saying crazy, stupid shit, Wayne LaPierre discredited the NRA. You know how you can tell LaPierre crossed a line? When was the last time you saw the New York Post call a right-wing screed a "bizarre rant"? But that's what they did for LaPierre, under the headline "GUN NUT!"
It won't be permanent. We know all too well the double-standard that allows Planned Parenthood to be vilified by falsehoods from senators and ACORN to be driven out of existence by edited videos while the NRA will, at worst, instantly "restore its image" the instant LaPierre gets replaces, whenever that happens. But for the moment, the country is looking at the NRA like he's the source of the urine smell at the bus depot.
Why's that? ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every day. And does anybody really believe that the next Adam Lanza isn't planning his attack on a school he's already identified at this very moment?
Interestingly, LaPierre seems to comprehend these people pretty well. He knows, somehow, that Adam Lanza heard voices and was drien by demons. I'd question LaPierre's sanity using his own logic, but I'd rather just point to the whole thing as evidence of paranoid lunacy.
He called for a national database of the mentally ill. Ignoring the logistical problems of defining the term and keeping such a list accurate (see: no-fly list), why is an organization allegedly devoted to keeping handguns around so that rednecks can shoot down fighter planes with them when the government goes too far calling for a national database of ANYTHING?
He, of course, blamed video games. Specifically Bulletstorm (two years old, not well liked), Mortal Kombat (only one actual gun), Grand Theft Auto (I will be kind and assume LaPIerre is referring to the series, not the original, which nobody cared about, or #3, which is the GTA game that got the negative attention), Splatterhouse (again, no guns, and a wildly unsuccessful 2010 remake of a 1988 game, and "Kindergarten Killer", a ten year old Flash game or some damn thing LaPierre googled up.
He blamed "American Psycho" and "Natural Born Killers", apparently having done all his research at a Blockbuster Video ten years ago. He blamed hip-hop videos, because of course he did.
He said there was no one-size-fits-all solution to school violence, then proposed his one-size-fits-all solution - an armed guard in every school. This, of course, feeds into the NRA fantasy that one man (and it is a man, as some of the other commentary has made painfully obvious) with a gun will always be able to stop another man with a bunch of guns (Newport) and body armor (Aurora) and so on and so forth even though that never happens.
And then it got better. Since we're not gonna pay to have trained people with guns protecting every school, LaPierre called for volunteers and NRA members to just show up and sit around, pacing heat. I presume we'd also need a national "stand your ground" law, since some of these schools have black kids in them.
It was about as rabid, foam-flecked, and wild-eyed a speech as you could hope for from America's top gun salesman. It was like that scene from a movie when the rich evil corrupt guy is ranting about all the stuff he really wants to do, not realizing he's on camera, except LaPierre asked the cameras to be there. And, even better, the media and the public are largely treating it like the ravings of a lunatic.
It's not quite a Christmas miracle, but I'll take it.